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    How Netflix is changing the global entertainment industry

    How Netflix is changing the global entertainment industry

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    • Netflix is writing the playbook for global entertainment.
    • The streaming company reshaped the market for content and transformed its business in the process.
    • It’s exploring areas including video games for its next frontier. 
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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    Since Netflix began its worldwide expansion in 2016, the streaming service has rewritten the playbook for global entertainment — from TV to film, and, soon, video games.

    Hollywood used to exports most global hit series and movies. Now, thanks to Netflix’s investments in international TV and film, programming like South Korea’s “Squid Game,” Spain’s “Money Heist,” and France’s “Lupin” are finding massive audiences around the world.

    Netflix figured out that to thrive on an international stage it needed both US mass-market programming like “Stranger Things,” as well as local content that could win over viewers in specific markets (and produce breakout hits).

    Read more about how Netflix’s strategy for buying international TV shows is changing, according to producers who have worked with the streamer and its rivals

    The strategy helped the streaming service grow its customer base to 214 million global paid subscribers, as of September.

    Its momentum is also reinvigorating production in places like Germany, Mexico, and India, as companies like Amazon, Disney, WarnerMedia, and Apple follow Netflix’s lead. 

    Read more about how Netflix’s global focus is changing international production markets

    Netflix has reoriented its leadership around its new global model.

    The streaming company, cofounded by tech entrepreneur Reed Hastings, promoted content chief Ted Sarandos to co-CEO in 2020, which cemented the status of content within the organization. Meanwhile, Bela Bajaria, who had been in charge of international non-English TV, took the reins of the overall TV business, and product chief Greg Peters took on additional duties as COO, including streamlining how global teams work together. Peters also hired a new talent chief with international experience, former PepsiCo executive Sergio Ezama, to lead Netflix’s global workforce.

    View our full interactive chart of Netflix’s top leaders

    The company has also formed an elite team of 23 interdisciplinary execs to help make its biggest decisions. Known internally as the “Lstaff ” — the “L” stands for leadership — the group sits between the company’s officers and its larger executive staff of vice presidents and above, who are called the “Estaff.”

    Read more about Netflix’s elite ‘Lstaff’ of 23 execs that helps the company make its most important decisions

    Netflix’s growth has made it a desirable place to work in recent years, as well, despite some of the tests its corporate culture has faced as it’s grown. Public US work-visa data shows that Netflix, which says its pays staffers “market value,” has offered six-figure annual base salaries for lots of roles in engineering, content, marketing, finance, and more.

    Netflix salaries revealed: How much engineers, marketers, content execs, and others get paid

    Netflix is searching for its next frontier

    Still, Netflix is facing more competition than ever from an influx of rivals that are learning to play its game.

    Nearly every major media company, from Disney to WarnerMedia, now runs a streaming service. Their platforms are stockpiled with tentpole movies and TV shows that used to only be found in theaters or on linear TV, and their libraries now rival Netflix’s.

    The competition is pushing the streaming giant to keep evolving.

    Netflix recently expanded into podcasting and even started peddling merchandise for series like “Squid Game” and “The Witcher.”

    The company is also bringing video games into its mobile streaming app.

    It hired in July Facebook’s former head of Reality Labs, Mike Verdu, as its vice president of game development, and has been hiring for other video-game-related jobs.

    Read more about what Netflix’s video-game roles reveal about its strategy

    The streamer plans to approach gaming like it did movies and TV shows. It’s starting slowly. It’s commissioning and licensing mobile games, some of which are based on existing franchises like “Stranger Things.” Then, it plans to experiment with other kinds of video-game storytelling, like it did with its original series.

    “Maybe someday we’ll see a game that spawns a film or a series,” Peters told investors in July. “That would be an amazing place to get to and really see the rich interplay between these sort of different forms of entertainment.”

    Here’s a list of our recent coverage of how Netflix is disrupting facets of the entertainment industry: 

    The Netflix effect on global TV:

    On filmmaking:

    On video gaming: 

    Netflix’s evolving business model and corporate structure:

    Netflix’s growth trajectory:

    Working at Netflix: 

    Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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